Feb 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm #1268600
Does anyone know of a route from Sixty Lakes Basin to Gardiner Basin? I have also heard about a route from Gardiner Basin to Charlotte Lake. I am looking at a possible loop from Oinion Valley Trailhead that involves Sixty Lakes Basin and Charlotte Lake, but would be interested if I can arrange it into a semi-loop hike with some cross country thrown in. I have done sections of the Sierra High Route and I am very comfortable with cross country travel and navigation. I will be going at the end of July, so snow shouldn't be a major issue. Any help would be appreciated!Feb 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm #1693060
I found a loop that goes from Sixty Lakes Basin to Gardiner Basin, over Gardiner Pass to Charlotte Lake. It looks like it will take longer than the two nights I had planned…so here is my next question if anyone can help. Can you go cross-country heading North/Northwest out of Sixty Lakes basin and into the Baxter Creek or Dollar Lake area? It looks like I could do some kind of loop back to Rae lakes if there was a do-able route there. Has anyone heard of a way to do that?Feb 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm #1693075
"Can you go cross-country heading North/Northwest out of Sixty Lakes basin and into the Baxter Creek or Dollar Lake area?"
Yes, I think so. There was some discussion here a year or so ago. Some guys were going to be southbound on the JMT, and they wanted to cut straight up to the Sixty Lakes Basin. I think they were going to follow the obvious drainage up.
I've been to Sixty Lakes Basin from the side trail directly off the JMT which is near the south end of Rae Lakes.
Do you have a specific motivation for going to the Gardiner Basin? I don't think that it is commonly visited.
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2011 at 8:16 am #1693161
Bob- No particular motivation other than just wanting to explore it and try to make it a loop hike as opposed to an in and back hike. I will probably put off the Gardiner Basin for another time, but I will definantly be checking out Sixty Lakes Basin this year. I am doing the JMT later in the year, ( a seperate trip than this one ), and want to explore areas around Rae Lakes that I don't normally visit while staying off the JMT as much as possible for this trip.Feb 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm #1693304
There is a certain rascally herd of bighorn sheep rams that can be found around the trail to Sixty Lakes. They probably come over Baxter Pass, which is where the female herd probably is.
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm #1693330
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
" found a loop that goes from Sixty Lakes Basin to Gardiner Basin, over Gardiner Pass to Charlotte Lake. It looks like it will take longer than the two nights I had planned…"
Just an FYI, as I'm not trying to talk you into doing the 60 Lakes-Gardiner Basin-Gardiner Pass-Charlotte Lake loop. Years ago, late 70's, I went into Gardiner Basin from Road's End in KCNP via Charlotte Creek and Gardiner Pass before heading over to 60 Lakes Basin, on my way further south to Wright Lakes Basin in the Upper Kern. There was no trail up Charlotte Creek at the time, and no trail until just below Gardiner Pass either. From there to 60 Lakes Basin, there was a faint use trail to follow if you paid attention, and even without it the navigation was pretty straightforward. It took me 3 leisurely days from Road's End to 60 Lakes Basin, and I was not travelling lightweight. My point is that 2 days would be perfectly adequate for a loop through the area, especially since so many people have been through there in the intervening 30 years, with the proviso that you are comfortable and competent with occasional off trail travel and interpreting maps if you happen to lose the use trails along the way. It is definitely a route worth doing, IMO, as it traverses some beautiful county. Best of luck, no matter which route you decide to do.Feb 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm #1693371
Gardiner Basin is worth the work, and it's fairly straightforward to traverse either direction. It is actually a series of basins/drainages, so would reward extra effort to explore all the nooks and crannies if one had the time or the inclination. I wrote a trip dialog on a through-trip in 2008, and there is a photo archive as well (way too many shots…); see trip writeup at:
http://sites.google.com/site/bryanlallen/gardinerbasin2008 and photo archive at:
http://bryanlallen.smugmug.com/Nature/Gardiner-Basin-2008/5831781_DA5hhFeb 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm #1693392
Bryan, I liked your trip report.
–B.G.–Feb 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm #1693421
Wow, Thanks Tom and Bryan for the info on this area. That was a great trip report Bryan. I may change my mind after a little bit more research. One limiting factor in doing it in two nights is I will be going with a group of four, and one person in the group may not be up to it. We may 'play it by ear' on how far we can make it in the first day. Thanks again for the info! Bob, thanks for the heads-up on the bighorn sheep, I will keep an eye out for them.Feb 21, 2011 at 10:58 am #1699552
@tenderpawLocale: Lake Tahoe
Check out highsierratopix.com, you can find almost everything you need on htat site.Feb 23, 2011 at 11:46 am #1700497
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
My buddy and I will be backpacking the Southern High Sierrias this summer and that highsierratopix site is full of info for our trip.Feb 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm #1702092
Kearsarge to Glen Pass to Rae Lakes
take short trail from Rae Lakes westerly abreast of Fin Dome to Sixty Lakes Basin
Walk south once in 60 Lakes Basin up to the col and over. there used to be a cornice there all year but probably all gone now
Walk straight west down a steep stair stepping long granite slope to a group of high lakes or if snow is all gone take a north westerly route down around on the east side of a big high lake back west and around to same group of lakes
take faint trail down the along the creek steeply descending into Gardiner Basin. At bottom there still may be some pygmy cabins left. trail is hard to find down in the basin where it turns south to first good size lake. once on the trail to the lake it becomes more pronounced the higher up the trail
go over the pass and follow the trail back to Charlotte Lake. If late in the day, there is a good campsite about 1/3 of the way to Charlotte with a small stream. Deer hang out there and will probably come right into your camp.
Have a great hike and post your photos here at BPL
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